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Friday, June 27, 2014

Entrenchment

Irba reports on Information Technology, or the lack of ability to change the way things are done at his workplace:
I got a request for some programming help, to automate a calculation for a report that management requires on a weekly basis.
Apparently, a manager has been opening a series of emails daily, each containing a pdf report that had 4 pertinent fields, these were re-typed into a spreadsheet.
At first I wondered if these were selected reports. No, they said, this was a complete batch of reports on set of files within a single directory tree.
I suggested that they go back to the source originating the reports and ask for a summary report. They said no we cannot do that.
I then asked if this was a confirmation audit report on what was actually processed, and if so, should they not be getting the numbers from a post-processing count of produced pieces. They said no we cannot do that.
So I wrote a program that counts up the files and contents, and puts it into a csv file, which they can open and copy into the spreadsheet,
I basically duplicated the counts from the original reports, using the original data and the same method of counting.
It is saving 1.5 hours a day.
A manager was spending an hour and a half copying data by hand every day? Where are your minions when you need them?

2 comments:

CGHill said...

We transmit a dataset to World HQ every week. In addition, we print out hard copy of a subset thereof, which they request for "verification." The fact that it's from exactly the same dataset, and therefore will always match, doesn't yet seem to have occurred to them.

Ole Phat Stu said...

[Big Corp.] accountancy department has hundreds of spreadsheets, no version management, no audit trail for them, no test suites, no log trails. I sometimes wonder who manages these guys :-(